The Red Turtle is an upcoming animated film co-produced by Studio Ghibli and directed by Michaël Dudok de Wit who is best known for his animated short films. The most famous of these is the Academy Award winning short film Father and Daughter, but The Red Turtle will be his first feature length film.
The news and stills released of The Red Turtle so far seem right in line with Studio Ghibli story and aesthetic. They show a heavy emphasis on the natural world as the story follows a lone castaway living on an island only populated by fish, crabs, birds and of course, turtles. Ghibli veteran Isao Takahata is also serving as the film’s artistic producer, having overseen the storyboards for the film while Dudok de Wit worked on them in Japan. The last film Takahata worked on was Ghibli’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya back in 2013, so I am keen to see his creative influence in Dudok de Wit’s film.
The Red Turtle is scheduled to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2016, and is set to release in Japan in September. While there is no news yet of the film making its way to Australia, we can only hope for a theatrical release sometime in the near future.